Hope you are keeping warm this winter! Or enjoying the summer, if you are in that particular part of the world!!
At Sweet Pea Dolls, we started off by making needle felted items, using a dry felting technique in which you repeatedly poke the wool thousands of times to create the shape you want, and add colours on top for the decoration. Most of our items are made this way, but since we have entered a new year, we are interested in exploring more ways to make beautiful items, that can compliment our dry felted items.
As needle felters, the most obvious choice was to start making wet felted items to add to the range in our shop! Wet felted items involve using merino wool,, warm water and soap to create a very smooth finish to the surface of the item. We chose to use this technique to make a purse because every girl likes a stylish purse, right?!
In order to make the purse, we use a large polystyrene ball, and lightly poke a coloured wool around the entire surface of the ball. This will form the inside of the purse. On top of that, we add a coloured merino wool, which totally covers the surface, and this forms the outside of the purse. It has to be merino wool to use the wet felting technique successfully. After doing this, we put the ball into a sealable plastic bag and add some warm soapy water. It doesnt have to have too much soap, just a little should do fine! Making sure the bag is sealed, (and best done over a sink!), we rub the soapy water into the ball, evenly around the entire ball for 10-15 mins, until it becomes very smooth. At this point we can take it out and dry it so that we can make a cut into the top of the ball. This will form the opening of the bag. After making the cut, we take the polystyrene ball out, and insert a smaller polystyrene ball. After doing this, we re-wash it in the soapy water for another 10-15 mins, as this helps to shrink the wool down to the size of the smaller ball, thus making it stronger and tighter. After doing that, and drying the ball again, we are ready to attach the clip for opening the ball. This is simply done by stitching it through the holes of the clip. And there you go, your very own wet felted purse!
"But wait, what if I want to add some decoration?" Well, that is the most fun part of the entire process!! You can use dry felting to add any decoration you like onto the surface of your new purse!! We made one purple one, with a simple polka dot design, and another with our Sweet Pea Dolls style flowers!
Have a wonderful day,
Tiff and Ali,
Sweet Pea Dolls